Thursday, 5 July 2012

4 quadrants for online portals

Continuing the theme of push and pull, let's look at how this should be addressed in community portals.

Once again, this diagram came out of a conversation with a community of practice leader, who was wondering what to do with his portal. He had created a massive database of community documents, and had the company experts providing blogs, and was wondering what to do next. Should be put in a search engine, for example?

My suggestion was to look at the twin aspects of Personalisation (Connection of people) and Documentation, and of Push and Pull. He was addressing the Push side of knowledge transfer, but was neglecting the Pull. Certainly he needed a search engine, but even more than that, he needed to address the behaviour of, and the support for, asking.

Any community portal should address the four quadrants in the diagram above, and should give equal weight to each (and if you are to emphasise any one quadrant, make it the Top Right quadrant). So the portal should include

1) the ability for people to ask the community a question, plus the roles and behaviours that mean that this question is answered, and answered well and quickly
2) the ability for SMEs and others to blog about new knowledge they have gained and which needs to be shared
3) the ability for people to search for and find documents they need
4) The ability for SMEs and others to publish documents which may be of use to others.

My advice to a community portal owner would be tackle these in the order shown above!


Stephanie Barnes said...

Why emphasise Blogging over any of the others?

Nick Milton said...

Sorry, my mistake, should have been Top Right - I have now edited this!

Stephanie Barnes said...

Thanks, that makes more sense!

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